News / Middle East

Jordan Struggles With Syrian Refugee Crisis

Jordan Struggles With Syrian Refugee Crisisi
X
September 26, 2013 7:16 PM
As Jordan struggles to shelter several hundred-thousand Syrian refugees, humanitarian workers say they are preparing for them to eventually return home, even though it is far from clear when that may be. For VOA producer Zlatica Hoke, Carol Pearson narrates this story on the refugee aid effort in Jordan.
Zlatica Hoke
Zaatari camp in Jordan has more than 140,000 Syrian refugees.  Thousands of other refugees live in Jordanian towns close to the border with Syria.  Humanitarian workers say they are preparing Syrian refugees for a return home, even though it is far from clear when that may be. 

Since its opening more than a year ago, the Zaatari camp has become Jordan's fourth largest city.

The sprawling tent city has schools, health centers and places of prayer, and a main street lined with stores and cafes.

The refugees have fled violence, harassment and fear, but also hunger and deprivation that the war in their country has brought on. 

Twelve-year-old Sami recalls food shortages during his last weeks in Syria.

"In the last three weeks in Syria we were living on bulgur, tomatoes and sometimes there was a car that brought bread, but it was very expensive," Sami said. "What can I say, the situation was dark and difficult.''  

In Zaatari, children go to school, new babies are born and even weddings take place.  But life is far from normal in the camp, where most people think they will return home one day. 

"We are preparing them for life after this crisis," said Jack Byrne, country director for Jordan at the International Rescue Committee. "We do not provide them with jobs in Jordan, and it's not the policy of the Jordanian government.  So we try to provide more counseling, more therapy, more preparation for when they can rebuild their lives."

More than two million people have fled Syria, putting a strain on the host countries.  Jordan's King Abdullah urged the international community Tuesday to help take care of the growing number of refugees in his country.

"The flow of Syrian refugees in Jordan already equals one-tenth of our own population," he noted. "It could reach 1 million, some 20 percent of our population, by next year. These are not just numbers. They are people who need food, water, shelter, sanitation, electricity, health care and more."

Byrne said the humanitarian effort in Jordan needs to double its current funding to provide basic relief for Syrian refugees in the coming year.

"When we look at the protracted crisis that may go on for another year and even if it were to end tomorrow, there would be a great need in rebuilding and resettling people. I think we would be talking about anywhere between $5 and $20 million in the next eight to 12 months," he said.

The United States announced in June that it is doubling its aid for Syrian refugees to $890 million for this year.  It is by far the largest aid donor to the Syrian disaster relief.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid